Connecticut Mom Devastated After Necklace Carrying Dead Infant's Ashes Is Stolen

Necklace containing dead baby's ashes stolen with mom's purse.
The necklace charm holds the ashes of Jayden Winn, left, with twin brother. LeeAnn Winn

A single mother in Connecticut is heartbroken after a thief made off with her purse — containing the ashes of her infant son who died from SIDS.

LeeAnn Winn had gone with a friend for a drink on a rare night out when someone broke into her friend's car, making off with Winn's handbag and some of her friend's belongings.

The cremated remains of Jayden Winn were inside a pendant that Winn wears around her neck.

"I took it off before we went in," Winn told InsideEdition.com Friday. "I was trying to be careful." 

The friends stayed for only an hour, but when they went back to the car, the front passenger window was smashed and the belongings of Winn's friend were strewn all over. Gone was Winn's purse, which had been in the back and covered up.

The mom has walked the Hartford neighborhood surrounding the bar several times, she said, hoping the thief threw her bag into a dumpster or trash can. She has talked to neighbors and business owners, but no one saw anything.

Police are searching, too.

"There is a lot of effort being put into this," Winn said. "I'm very grateful."

Tiny Jayden died at 3 months old, just two weeks after Winn brought him and his twin brother, Ayden, home from the hospital following their premature birth. Both babies, she said, were "perfectly healthy."

But early one morning nine years ago, Winn was ripped from her sleep by the bloodcurdling scream of her 4-year-old daughter, Mikaylee, who was looking into the bassinet holding a very still, very blue Jayden.

Winn knew her son was dead, but she performed CPR while waiting for paramedics. She still feels the loss, as does Mikaylee, who is now 13. "She was like a little mom," to the twins, constantly checking on them and looking out for them, their mother said.

"She was in therapy for a long time." 

All Winn wants, she said, is the return of her necklace. "It's a part of me. It's all I have left of him," she said. "I feel complete when he's with me."

LeeAnn Winn has posted her phone number on her Facebook account for anyone who may come across the pendant.

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